Sunday, April 20, 2014

Some Astrological Alignment that Nourishes, Entertains and Reveals

Sometimes one’s stars do align themselves just “so.”

Here’s a modest example:

While fixing lunch (which is really breakfast: sausage, bacon, eggs and pancakes), I switch the TV over to the last 10 or 15 minutes of “Singin’ in the Rain.”

Preparing and delivering plates to ill grandson and wife allows for TCM to have begun its subsequent feature attraction, a Fred Astaire musical.

I step over Blackjack and settle onto the couch next to little man’s feet, salivating, the TV mere background noise.

I’d considered eating upstairs in my office amid sports talk, maybe get some more detail on the college hoops coach who’d ranted the day before on his own team’s sense of entitlement.

But I’m really hungry, the baby’s sluggish and a bit sad, but currently pre-occupied with a game on Grandma’s cell phone.

Whilst luxuriating in a deliciously sloppy brunch, my ear and mind recognize a familiar melody. (Actually, the recognition may have originated in my toe, but that’s neither here nor there.)

A glance at the screen brings an abrupt halt to that frustratingly sweet sensation of “What tune is that?” The immediate “Aha!” is elicited by the words “The clown with his pants falling down” revealed by the closed captioning. Now that’s entertainment, I’d say – both the scene (colorized, as in the clip linked below?) and the song.

“The plot may be hot, simply teeming with sex,
A gay divorcee who is after her ex.”

I may be a bit partial to this particular page in the Great American Songbook – the song leads off a weird but wonderful CD of movie music rendered by the weird but wonderful Michael Feinstein – since it so cleverly works Oedipus Rex into the lyric (to rhyme with “ex” and “sex,” you see). The Oedipus story is one of a number of tales from Greek Mythology that regularly found their way into my classroom patter.

I enjoy the tune – now struggling (to no avail) to identify the familiar faces rather than the familiar notes – while still ravenously munching my mis-timed meal.

A fitting dessert to this robust repast is the discovery of the existence of an equally clever second verse to "That's Entertainment!" The literary reference there-in fast-forwards from Sophocles to Shakespeare.

Check it out.